I have a 13-year-old warmblood gelding. We compete on a regular basis in the adult equitation and hunters and I’ve been thinking of adding a joint supplement to his nutrition program. What are the benefits of glucosamine and chondroitin?
– Leslie M., Landrum, SC
Providing a joint supplement to your horse sounds like a wise investment to me! Research shows that the major ingredients found in oral joint supplements (like the glucosamine and chondroitin you mention) can promote cartilage production and slow cartilage breakdown. They can even protect joint tissues against the damaging effects of inflammation. In short, joint supplements can be an insurance policy for your horse’s career and welfare that you can’t afford to pass up. Here’s specific information on the most common joint supplement ingredients:
Glucosamine – stimulates production of Chondroitin Sulfate; inhibits free radicals and enzymes that break down cartilage Chondroitin Sulfate – stimulates production of Hyaluronic Acid and proteoglycans; also inhibits enzymes that break down cartilage
Hyaluronic Acid – integral component of joint fluid and articular cartilage; provides lubrication and shock absorption
[Ed. note: Originally printed in the May 2010 issue of Salt Block Gazette]